Patch Work Made Easy
Simple repairs in carpet over cushion
By Robert Varden, CFI
While I have never been fond of the word patch, let’s face it, whether it be a little too much holiday cheer (photo #1) or perhaps even covering our own mistakes, a patch happens.
I often ask my students the difference between a patch and a bonded insert. Jokingly, I say the answer is “about $50.” In reality, the difference is nothing. They are both the art of taking out a small area of damaged carpet and replacing it with one that is not.
Creating a bonded insert is a small part of the CFI R-1 certification. I have seen hundreds of different ways installers have done this. It often surprises me how much they seem to struggle. Here is a simple way of creating a bonded insert.
First, stay off the area so that you do not lose any stretch on the material. Next, find two good rows of yarn going the length of the material on each side of the effected area.
With the blades up in your top cutter, set the cutter comfortably between the rows. (I do this so that I do not risk shaving off face yarn on my way in.) Once you are set in position to start your cut, lower the blade and cut far enough to get past the damaged area you are taking out. (photo #2)
Repeat the same process on the opposite side of the area. At this point, you should have two clean cuts on each side. Now, simply cut open from the top of the affected area which then gives you access to the back of the material.
Next, fold the carpet back on the “up” side of the material. Note: As you know, carpet has a down sweep and an upsweep typically in the length direction. Think of this as a flowing river ‒ upstream would be against the grain obviously and downstream with the grain.
Make a nice, clean, straight cut from the back of the material and remove the affected piece. (photo #3)
Save and use the cutout piece as a template to cut the replacement piece. Keep in mind you are using it only to acquire the exact width of the replacement piece, not the length. The replacement piece should be substantially longer so that you have plenty of material to insert under for your trace cuts. (photo #4)
Once you have cut your replacement piece, insert it in to the opening just enough so that it extends a few inches under your previous cut.
After checking the sides and determining the fit is good, you are now ready to top/trace cut the inserted piece. Once this step is complete, you should have three sides of this insert ready to seam. (photo #5)
Next, fold back the opposite side of your insert and again make a nice, clean, straight cut from the back. (photo #6)
Lay the replacement piece over the existing material and perform another top/trace cut. (photo #7)
At this point, all cuts should be complete and you are ready to seal and seam the insert in. Note tape placement, and be sure all edges are going to be well secured. (photo # 8)
Next, seam in the replacement piece using a seaming iron or Koolglide seaming tool. Once tape is placed under the seams, edges are sealed and you’re ready to melt the tape, set your Koolglide on the seam and activate all four sides from the top of the material. (photo #9)
Finally, after the seams have cooled, pull your stay nails, clean up the area and the end result should be an inserted piece that both you and your customer will be happy with for years to come. (photo #10)